Camping & caravan sites reopen: New rules revealed as caravans deemed ‘safest’ holiday

Caravan holidays and camping trips are set to rise this year as Britons remain in the UK for their holidays post-coronavirus. A National Caravan Council NCC survey this week confirmed a huge 93 percent of those surveyed intend to holiday or take a short break in the UK after the lockdown. Motorhome and caravan dealerships across the country are preparing for reopening on Monday, after a surge in interest online in caravans and motorhomes.

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British leisure vehicle manufacturer, Swift Group, recently revealed its web traffic increased over 40 percent since Boris Johnson announced the initial lockdown easing on May 10, compared to the two weeks prior.

Interestingly, growth has been driven by a younger audience between 18 to 44 years old, whose visits to the site are up by nearly 50 percent.

Nick Page, Group Commercial Director from Swift Group said: “We are seeing a really promising trend emerging, which after a hard few months for the industry, is welcome news to UK caravan and motorhome manufacturers.

“Holiday parks are a brilliant option to enable social distancing, and as caravans and motorhomes are self-contained, will be one of the safest holiday options for those looking to get out around the UK this year.”

The NCC is now working with the government to allow the safe re-opening of caravan holiday parks and touring sites in England as soon as possible.

Currently, those offering holiday accommodation – such as hotels and resorts as well as caravan parks – may be permitted to open from July 4.  

The NCC is calling on the government to lift the closure notices on caravan parks across the UK so they can reopen as soon as possible.

The trade body has now issued extremely robust safety guidelines.

The guidance outlines advice to enable caravan parks to develop their own COVID-19 safety protocol and give assurances that measures have been put in place to protect staff, customers and, as a consequence those in the nearby local community, so they can reopen.

A phased opening of caravan parks has been proposed by the NCC to the government. 

Unlike hotels, there are no safety issues with shared facilities or accommodation at caravan parks, as the units are self-contained and 95 percent are privately owned, thus providing a safe form of holiday accommodation.

Caravans and motorhomes are ‘socially distanced by design’ and rules on parks mean that caravans must be five or six metres apart.  

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The vast majority of caravans have their own cooking and washing facilities, providing the safest form of holidaying possible at the moment.

NCC Director General, John Lally commented: “The reopening of dealerships is a huge relief for the industry as we are able to start to respond to the public interest in both renting and buying caravans and motorhomes in the coming months.

“The UK’s holiday parks benefit from rural and coastal locations, away from densely populated urban areas, and each park is working to put in place social distancing measures which will make it the best option for holidays in the UK this year.

“We are working with the government to look into reopening holiday parks as early as possible with strict social distancing measures, as outlined in the guidance, to enable the industry to get back to work and hard-working families to enjoy full use of their caravans again.”

Further findings from the NCC show that in the first months after lockdown, 70 percent of UK adults said they perceive a holiday caravan-based UK break as a socially acceptable activity. 

Motorhoming did even better, with 77 percent, indicating it as an appealing option.

These holiday types were regarded as much more acceptable than, say, a city break to a major European city.

A Longwoods survey found that 82 percent of people travelling in 2020 made changes to their travel plans due to COVID-19. 

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